Diary

Battle for the House 2016: The June Edition

AK-at large: [mc_name name=’Rep. Don Young (R-AK)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’Y000033′ ] has not had a serious challenger in a primary since 2008, but that may change and it would be to his advantage.  With both Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller considering a primary run, state senator Pruitt is making noise and may enter the fray.  With a crowded field with so many big name items, a split ticket would likely favor Young in a primary.

AZ-1 and AZ-2:  State senator Barbara McGuire has entered the race for the Democrats to succeed Anne Kirkpatrick.  Over in the Second, Bruce Wheeler has pulled out for the Democrats for medical reason (he has a torn retina), but Virginia Steele has entered the race against freshman GOP Congresswoman [mc_name name=’Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001197′ ] over McSally’s 20-week fetal pain vote in the House.  But, it does not seem the DCCC is too high on Steele as they tried to recruit state representative Randy Friese who decided against a run.

AZ-9: Rumor is that Krysten Sinema, the bisexual Wiccan Democratic representative in this swing district, is considering a run for the Senateand that would land her in a primary against Anne Kirkpatrick.  Sinema is apparently upset that Kirkpatrick announced her candidacy so early catching everyone by surprise.  That led to a testy exchange with a reporter.  Meow…cat fight in the making?

CA-7, CA-10 and CA-36:  In the Sacramento suburb based Seventh, the AFL-CIO is running ads against Democratic incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001287′ ] over his stance on the TPP and fast track legislation (thank you, organized labor!).  Republican Doug Ose, who lost in 2014 by less than 1,500 votes, is considering a rematch.  Speaking of rematches, Mike Eggman is running again against Republican Jeff Denham in the Tenth District.  However, he also filed papers to run for the State assembly, which would be against California election law.  So which is it, Mike?  Meanwhile in the 36th, Republican hopeful Lupe Ramos-Watson has dropped out citing a lack of support  from the local GOP.  However, weak first quarter fundraising is likely the real reason (she raised only $15,000).

CA-31: Here’s a weird one: Democrat Joe Baca, a former Congressman, has switched parties and is now a Republican and is considering a run here.  Beware of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

CO-6: With the announcement that [mc_name name=’Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001077′ ] is staying put in this seat and ruled out a run for the Senate, the Democrats are now recruiting  state senate minority leader Morgan Carroll to take him on.  Coffman, who represents the swingish (on paper) Denver suburbs, is repeatedly a target, and repeatedly wins.

FL-1 and FL-16: In the First with Joe Miller considering a run for the Senate, state senate president Dan Gaetz is said to be interested in a run if this becomes an open seat, but only if it is open.  Likewise for state senator Greg Evers.  As for Miller, he has hired staff and a polling firm making it look like he is seriously considering entering the Senate race.

FL-2:  Freshman Democrat [mc_name name=’Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000575′ ] would seem like a good target since Romney won this district in 2012.  However, no Republican is stepping forward probably because they are waiting until an open race in 2018 as Graham is expected to seek statewide office then.

FL-18: With Democrat Scott Murphy vacating the seat to run for the Senate, things got interesting when Republican state senator Jack Latvala showed up at a fundraiser for a potential Democratic rival for this seat.  But, this is an interesting story.  Latvala will likely face Joe Negron in the battle for majority leader in the state senate and it just so happens that Negron’s wife is a candidate in the Republican primary in the 18th District.  Obviously, Latvala is reaching out to Democrats in order to bolster his chances later down the line.  Meanwhile, Brian Mast- a GOP hopeful and decorated veteran- appeared on Fox News thus bolstering his conservative credentials.

IL-8: The Democratic primary to succeed Duckworth in this district is shaping up to be interesting with the entrance of Raja Krishnamoorthi.  He will oppose Tom Cullerton, who has received the support of VoteVets, an organization with deep pockets.  Krishnamoorthi received the endorsement of [mc_name name=’Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001145′ ], although how much that counts for remains to be seen.

IL-10:  Giving new meaning to the term “neutral,” the DCCC has declared their neutrality in the Democratic primary between Brad Schneider and Nancy Rotering, who raised big bucks in the first quarter sending some concern through the ranks of the DCCC.  Despite that neutrality, DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan appeared at a fundraiser with [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’W000797′ ] scheduled to appear at another one for Schneider.  Its nice to see Democrats eating their own for a change.

IN-2 and IN-9: In the 2nd District, state senator Carlin Yoder did not seem enthusiastic about taking on incumbent GOP [mc_name name=’Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’W000813′ ] in a primary, but has not completely ruled it out.  Meanwhile in the 9th, the GOP establishment is looking for a foil against [mc_name name=’Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001188′ ] in the Senate race and had been concentrating on [mc_name name=’Rep. Todd Young (R-IN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’Y000064′ ].  Should Young decide to enter the open Senate race, state attorney general Greg Moeller may run for the open House seat.  Zoeller is said to be eyeing a Senate run, but this seems like a more realistic scenario.

IA-3: Democrat Staci Appel has ruled out a rematch in 2016 which has fueled speculation that Chet Culver may enter the race.  The First District is more Democratic than the Third, but with Appel out of the way, Culver may just settle in the Third clearing the way for another Democrat to run in the First.  This is a race that bears watching.

MD-1 and MD-6:  [mc_name name=’Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001052′ ] in the First is said to be considering a Senate run as Democrats eat each other in a very crowded race.  Regardless, he has drawn a primary opponent in Mike Smigiel who is highlighting the fact Harris is a Boehner supporter.  In the 6th, [mc_name name=’Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’D000620′ ] survived a close call in 2014 and this year David Vogt has entered the GOP race.  This is a close district and all bets are off should Delaney decide to enter the Senate race.

MD-8: Speaking of crowded races, this race to succeed [mc_name name=’Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’V000128′ ] just got more crowded on the Democratic side with Kathleen Matthews’ entrance into the race.  She is a former Marriot executive married to MSNBC talking moron Chris Matthews.  However, she has to explain a $2,600 campaign donation to Missouri Republican Ray Blunt in her past.

NH-1: The “was it a loan or was it not a loan” saga continues in New Hampshire over campaign finance allegations against [mc_name name=’Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000570′ ].  The FEC recently published their “evidence” against Guinta over a $355,000 “loan” from a family “kitty” which Guinta’s sister knew nothing about.  He also wrote the word “loan” on the check.  Regardless, this “controversy” is occurring early enough in the cycle and Guinta may just weather the storm despite state GOP leaders running for the hills.

NY news:  Like [mc_name name=’Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001287′ ] in California, the AFL-CIO is running ads against Democratic incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000602′ ] in the Fourth for her vote on TPP fast track legislation (thanks again, organized labor).  In the open Republican held 19th, Democrat Sean Eldridge has declined to run again.  Meanwhile, in the 24th the Democrats are facing problems recruiting a candidate and may have to go with Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor.  Finally, in the 21st Democrat Aaron Woolf is back for another run much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party who would much prefer former State Department official Mike Derrick.

OH-14: The more conservative Matt Lynch has entered the race against Republican incumbent David Joyce in this district.  Democrats would love to see an unlikely upset here as they consider Lynch the weaker of the two opponents.

PA-2: The ethically challenged and probably scandal-ridden [mc_name name=’Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’F000043′ ], who represents hard core Philadelphia, will likely face a challenge.  A Kickstarter campaign was begun with funds going to a Democratic rival.  As for the GOP, forget it!  This is one of the deepest blue districts in the country.

PA-8: Things are looking up for the GOP here as state senator Tom Petri has formed an exploratory committee in this open GOP-held district.  Another “Republican,” Andy Warren has entered the race, but the fact that he rejoined the fold in 2011 after a stint as a Democrat should earn him some “boos.”  This is a key suburban Philadelphia district.  On the Democratic side, it looks like state representative Steve Santaserio against Shaughnessy Naughton who ran and lost in 2014.  The Democratic retreads continue.

PA-9: The well-funded Tom Smith will face GOP incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001154′ ].  The Club for Growth recently began a series of ads against Shuster for his support of the Import-Export Bank.

TX-33: Things just got more precarious for Democratic incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’V000131′ ] in this district when Domingo Garcia announced he would enter the Democratic primary.  The Democrats fear loss of this seat and some in-fighting is good for the GOP.

UT-4: Looks like 2014 Democratic loser Doug Owens is gearing up for another run at [mc_name name=’Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000584′ ].  Why?  Because the Democrats believe that Love’s performance left much to be desired in a GOP wave year.  This is a milestone on the Left: they now admit 2014 was a GOP wave year.

VT-at large:  With the announcement that Bill Shumlin, who survived a scare in 2014, would not run again for Governor in 2016 (they serve two year terms), speculation is that [mc_name name=’Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’W000800′ ], their lone representative in Congress, will seek this seat.  If so, that would essentially clear the Democratic field and there would be a feeding frenzy for the open House seat.  Realistically, the GOP bench is so weak and the Democratic bench so deep that any chance of a GOP pick up here is non-existent.

WA-1: GOP state senator Elizabeth Scott has filed papers to run against Democratic incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’D000617′ ].  Scott is considered extreme when it comes to abortion rights and has deep Tea Party ties in the district.

And finally, WV-1: With the decision by Republican incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001180′ ] to seek reelection here and forego a run for Governor, Democratic chances of taking this seat just decreased.